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A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles, ca. 1940s

Background process plate produced for an unidentified feature film, shot from an automobile driving through Bunker Hill and downtown Los Angeles.

Please help identify the streets and locations.

Run time 6 minutes 12 seconds
Audio/Visual silent


Reviewer: Numinous - - September 6, 2015
Subject: Process shots
The first sequence was apparently intended to cover what could be seen through the rear window of a moving car during a shot of both actors through the windscreen. The second sequence appears to be meant to cover what would be seen through the side windows while filming a three quarter profile of the driver, probably through the windscreen as well. The third sequence was probably a continuation of that segment of that movie.
Whatever the film, there must not have been a passenger in the car otherwise there would have been something to cover the opposite angle for the passenger's shots.
Reviewer: HansMontag - - April 3, 2015
Subject: Dating "A Drive Through Bunker Hill and LA Ca 1940s"
Never been to Cali or LA...but dating the filmed footage has three keypoints...the streets the vehicle followed have patched surfaces of both center lanes...with rail line patterns...the streetcar tracks were removed throughout most of the the country during World War Two, including the LA/ Bunker Hill streets (during huge Nationwide Scrap Drives)...Second the Billboard towards the end of the footage shows an advert for "RCA Victor Television." The TV Receiver in the billboard ad appears to be tv model "RCA 630-TS" (on market USA 1946-47)...Third the vehicles in the footage appear to be pre-1948 models the first year after the war that new vehicle models in-mass were produced by Detroit...thus the film footage was more than likely shot somewheres about 1946-1948....
Great interest in Bunker Hill/ Downtown LA is from the world of literary fiction...mainly Chandler/ and others etc...
Reviewer: porterville - - June 2, 2013
Subject: Great Footage of Bunker Hill
This was wonderful daytime footage of downtown Los Angeles and part of the then Bunker Hill area.
Reviewer: garagehero - - May 30, 2013
Subject: Great footage!!!!
I lived there when I was a kid, I have no memory of it because I was two years old when we moved to 22nd st. in the Adams area, but my parents sure remembered it. We lived in an apartment over on Court street, just a block away from the Court Flight. I believe the film starts overlooking the 2nd street tunnel and Hill Street, Olive is the intersection. They go west on Second, turn left/south on Grand. Next sequence, west on Second, left/south on Grand, right/west on 5th (Biltmore Hotel at 3:38) continues past the Central Library, then Right/north on Flower.
Next sequence, north on Flower(14:22) California Club on the left and Atlantic Richfield on the right, passes over the top of the 3rd street tunnel overlook, on right, Stanley apartments on left, right turn/east back on second street to end it.
Reviewer: Pithecanthropus - - May 19, 2013
Subject: Highest historical value
If I'm not mistaken, the opening shot is facing towards the southeast on Second, from a vantage point above the entrance to the tunnel. If this is correct then the Kawada Hotel (today's name) can be seen at the southwest corner of Hill and Second, in the distance just beyond the second intersection here.
Reviewer: volumexxx - - January 19, 2013
Subject: Shockproof, 1949
The first two minutes of this footage is the background process plate for Douglas Sirk's film "Shockproof", 1949. This is from scene when parole officer Griff Marat (Cornel Wilde) rides with Jenny Marsh (Patricia Knight) from her house to him.
Reviewer: Kodachrome - - January 1, 2013
Subject: 5 stars
This must be the coolest video I have found here to date. I do remember LA as it was in the early 60s and this is a sweet remembrance. The film is in top condition also. Amazing.

BTW, my dad worked in the Richfield building. I remember the eagle at the top. As befitting the oil industry, the walls and floors were made of black marble with gold accents. It was a shame to see it go.
Reviewer: jsmog - - October 24, 2011
Subject: I miss the Richfield Building
I just wanted to point out the Richfield Building at 5th & Flower, which appears on the right (with the aerial) after 4:12. I remember this building before it was torn down in the late '60s...what a loss!
Reviewer: Treadway - - September 13, 2011
Subject: Possible candidates for the film?
These are the 40s/early 50s films listed on IMDb as having scenes shot in the location Bunker Hill, Downtown Los Angeles:

Somewhere in the Night (1946)
The Unfaithful (1947)
Act of Violence (1948)
Hollow Triumph (1948)
Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948)
Criss Cross (1949)
Cry Danger (1951)
M (1951)
Cry of the Hunted (1953)
Kisds Me Deadly (1955)
Reviewer: silentechoes57 - - September 13, 2011
Subject: Stan, Ollie, and Harold Lloyd filmed here too
The footage not only provides a wonderful glimpse of post-WWII Bunker Hill, now lost to civic redevelopment, but illuminates Los Angeles during the silent film era as well.

As I explain in my book Silent Visions, Harold Lloyd filmed scenes for seven different movies at the intersection of 3rd and Grand, on Bunker Hill, more scenes than at any other location in Los Angeles. It was a popular place for Laurel and Hardy, and other Hal Roach Studio stars to film as well. The Prelinger film drives twice by Lloyd’s intersection of 3rd and Grand, providing razor sharp images of where Lloyd and other silent stars filmed.

You can see several scenes from Hal Roach silent comedies, and how they compare to the Prelinger film, here at my blog.

Here is a map of the route driven during the film.
Reviewer: slangton - - September 8, 2011
Subject: 318 South Grand
My Grandfather, John Colby owned The Palace Garage & Machine Shop. 318 South Grand Avenue. The Garage appears twice in the video on the right hand side after Cut Rate Drugs and the Cleaners.
Reviewer: scram - - September 8, 2011
Subject: Some of us have been dreaming footage like this exists
Truly astonishing stuff. Thank you, Internet Archive, for finding, transferring and sharing this gem from lost Bunker Hill. It's even more satisfying to see it after the disappointment of discovering that the game producers of the much-hyped "L.A. Noire" chose not to even bother rendering the lost neighborhood.

Over at the Off Bunker Hill mailing list, LA historians and former Bunker Hill residents have been identifying structures and dating vehicles. One person even thinks they've spotted their father leaning on a lampost!

Off Bunker Hill list

On Bunker Hill time travel blog
Reviewer: Rick Prelinger - - September 7, 2011
Subject: Some interesting annotations here
Reviewer: jbermudes - - September 7, 2011
Subject: An cool look at historic downtown LA
Location notes:
2:01: Driving west on 2nd street
Turns south onto Grand.
Turns west on 5th street.
Turns north on Flower

Footage continues at 4:13 heading north on Flower Turns east on 2nd.
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